President Bush says Americans will not be intimidated by threats from terrorist leader Osama bin-Laden. Mr. Bush was reacting to a new tape from the al-Qaida leader that was released just four days before the U.S. presidential election.
In a brief statement on his arrival here in Columbus, President Bush made clear that he will not allow the al-Qaida leader to influence this election, or to further divide Americans as voters prepare to go to the polls to elect Mr. Bush or his Democratic challenger, John Kerry.
"Let me make this very clear, Americans will not be intimidated or influenced by an enemy of our country," said the president said. "I'm sure Senator Kerry agrees with this. I also want to say to the American people that we are at war with these terrorists and I am confident that we will prevail."
White House spokesman Scott McClellan says intelligence officials believe the tape is authentic and was recorded recently. If there is actionable intelligence to be gained from analyzing the tape, he says the Bush Administration will act.
Mr. McClellan says there are no immediate changes to the national terror threat level following the tape's release. U.S. officials have warned that terrorists may try to disrupt next Tuesday's presidential election but have offered no information on specific threats.